Against All the Odds, Syria ’s National Soccer Team Is Close to Qualifying for the World Cup

As its cities lay in ruins and millions of its citizens continue to suffer the horrors of a vicious civil war, Syria has its eyes on a bright and unexpected goal this week: a long-sought World Cup spot. An underdog Syrian squad, ranked 75th in the world, has claimed credible draws with regional heavyweights like South Korea and Iran and beaten the likes of China, Qatar, and Uzbekistan to clinch a runners-up place and a chance to qualify for the first time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. They just have a few games standing in their way. “The important thing is that the team is determined to try and qualify for the World Cup,” Syria striker Omar Khribin told The Associated Press. ”We have played against some very strong teams so far … We competed well against them and proved that we are also a strong team.” The Syrians, known as the “Qasioun Eagles” after a mountain overlooking Damascus, climbed from the bottom of their group despite playing their home matches in Oman and Malaysia. They now face an Australian squad Thursday for the first of a two-leg competition. The winner will advance to face the fourth-place finisher in the CONCACAF qualifiers, which would be Panama, Honduras, or even the United States. But the Syrians have beaten all the odds just to get this far. Syria is suffering a protracted conflict that has claimed more than 470,000 lives and displaced millions, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human...
Source: Top Science and Health Stories - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized onetime Soccer Sports Syria World World Cup Source Type: news

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Source: International Journal of Educational Development - Category: Child Development Source Type: research
Human Development 2019;62:5 –13
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